Here's the milestone chart you've all been waiting to see:
In truth, I finished all 106 (actually, 107) stories last Tuesday but have been sleeping it off ever since so I haven't really been in a head space to write a decent update.
After printing out all the stories, single spaced, the whole thing turned out to be 123 pages long, 50,748 words in total... roughly 19,000 words shy of a novella. And this is only a first draft!
GRATITUDE THIS WEEK GOES TO...
I had some awesome help last Tuesday from my in laws—taking my 4 year old for two hours three days a week has been immensely helpful. But a huge thanks also goes out to Theresa Stirling; both of our kids go to the same school and I've found her work as an encaustic painter inspirational to me as an artist… Theresa successfully balances family life against creating something greater than oneself, a feat few can or even want to master.
On Tuesday, November 7th, this is what my day looked like:
Sometimes Theresa has to finish a commission, so I take her kids for the afternoon. Sometimes I need help finishing stories for Dimeword, so she offers to take my kids. It's a special kind of gratitude when artists can look after each other so evenly. Today she passed me a short video about her work, which shows her artistic process as well as how ambitious her scope can be:
Dimeword is definitely the most ambitious project I've ever set my mind to doing. I couldn't have done it without you all out there cheering me on, and in some cases, poking me in the eyes. Thanks for staying with me.
CARLOS & DEVIANT ART
Carlos Solis pointed me to a writer on Deviant Art offering his short stories under the Creative Commons - Attribution License, the most lax of all the licenses, save for the public domain, i.e., as long as you credit his work, you can do whatever you want with his work, including sell it.
I really like Deviant Art's web site for simplifying the CwF + RtB approach, so I immediately opened an account to see how I might release Dimeword stories on there. Presently, they only let you license work using a creative commons license, but I'll see if I can get them to amend their policy to include public domain licenses, too. It's important not to list the stories under an inappropriate license.
CHART MONSTER, FEED ON THIS
For the stats nerds out there, you might want to see this chart I made breaking down each genre by words per story:
I love this kind of data crunching. This snapshot will also be really interesting to compare against the final draft, don't you think?
Given that I have two young children, it's no surprise that the Fairy Stories genre has the largest total amount of words, and Sci-Fi genre is the second largest category since I'm an unrelenting science geek. (The other day I finally bought Saberhagen's Berserker short stories at a used book stores and even said these words—aloud—to my wife, "I've been trying to read these stories since I was 13." Sheesh.)
Revisions. The good news is, I've been browsing through the first draft and so far, I'm very very pleased with how well the first draft has turned out. That means more charts, people. Stay tuned!
CASE STUDY: Mike Merell's first draft
The next update will be a case study about writing a first draft. Mike Merell, one of my backers, asked me to write a science fiction story. Well, I did write a 700 word story and then realized I'd totally misunderstood Mike's instructions. Rather than tossing the original draft, I thought I'd put it alongside my next first draft so you can compare two separate interpretations of one idea. This will be a backer-only update since the story version is still not ready for prime time.